By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Taco Bell one step closer to opening
taco bell rendition
Taco Bell representatives and residents near Mountain View Road reached a compromise in noise and traffic concerns before the City Council approved the project moving forward. - photo by Photo Contributed

A third Taco Bell will soon be calling Turlock home as the Turlock City Council on Tuesday denied local citizens’ appeal to reject the fast food franchise’s minor discretionary permit location.

The new restaurant will be located at 3606 N. Golden State Blvd. on the parcel of land bordered by Roberts Road, Mountain View Road, and Christoffersen Parkway.

Taco Bell representatives and the local citizens who filed the appeal, Pam and Ray Franco, achieved a compromise Tuesday evening at the behest of Mayor John Lazar who ordered a brief recess for the two parties to collaborate and address concerns.

While residents did not get their wish of getting rid of the Mountain View ingress and egress, a deal was struck between the neighbors and Taco Bell representatives to limit the previously proposed 24 hour fast food facility to close their dining room at 10 p.m. seven days a week and only allow the drive through to operate until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.  This decision limits traffic on Mountain View Road, thus eliminating the glare on nearby homes. Furthermore, to prevent traffic from utilizing the Mountain View egress after 10 p.m. bollards will be in place to block the left side of the drive through thus forcing customers to exit by turning right at Roberts Road back onto Golden State Boulevard.

Prior to the compromise neighbors testified alongside the Francos mainly voicing apprehension regarding safety, traffic, and noise concerns that the new fast food chain would bring to the neighborhood. However, with the new property already zoned for heavy commercial use for more than a decade, Taco Bell representatives only offered to make changes to the property in order to further its construction.

“For example, we intentionally over parked this site to encourage people not to park on the street,” explained senior architect Phillip Moss of VMI Architecture.

While residents initially intended to prevent the fast food chain from planting roots on Golden State Boulevard, dialogue between Taco Bell representatives and the council proved a compromise could be reached.

 “We’re not here to take away Taco Bell’s property rights, we are here to arrange something we can all live with and we want those in rental homes to enjoy their property rights as well,” said Pam Franco, who, along with her husband, rents out several of the nearby residential properties that will be affected.

The adopted amendments to the permit also met the Planning Commission’s three conditions placed on the project back in June which mandated that the fast food chain’s drive through plans encourage exiting on Roberts Road as opposed to Mountain View Road. The two other conditions included the elimination of up-lighting of the Taco Bell sign on the building's tower and the addition of a sound wall on the southeast corner of the property near the drive-through.

Since the City Council’s unanimous approval of Taco Bell’s permit the next step for the fast food chain will be to submit construction plans.